Jason Walker’s looping effort in the last minute of injury time, sealed a point for York City at Bootham Crescent this Saturday and pushes them up to seventh place, as The Minstermen continue to enjoy a five match unbeaten run.
Chesterfield opened the scoring through Sam Hird in the 36 minute, then Michael Coulson drew the sides level four minutes later with a neat chip inside the area, but City let their guard down a minute late and sloppy defending gifted Craig Westcarr a chance on goal to slip the ball underneath Ingham to regain the lead. City however salvaged an equaliser in the 94 minute, with Walker finding an unlikely goal to snatch a share in the points.
York were without playmaker Patrick McLaughlin, has he was returning from international duty, captaining Northern Ireland under 21’s on Friday night, but Gary Mills welcomed the news that top goal-scorer, Ashley Chambers was once again fit, following his calf injury, as he missed the mid week win over Rotherham. Chesterfield was dealt a blow coming into the fixture with goalkeeper, Tommy Lee out with a shoulder injury, as Richard O’Donnell deputised.
Before the game, a minutes silence was held in memory of David Longhurst, whom sadly passed away on the pitch at Bootham Crescent, 22 years ago to the day.
The first half started very cautiously, with both sides trying to maintain possession and keep a momentum of passes flowing, with not many opposing attacks at either end. The Spireites enjoyed a chunk of possession early on, but Jason Walkers 25 Yard deflected shot in the 29 minute was the first real chance on target, but was cushioned by Neal Trotman, creating an easy catch in the air for Richard O’Donnell.
The deadlock was eventually broken, with the first of three goals in five minutes coming from the visitors. Chesterfield’s Marc Richards attempt on goal was initially blocked by Michael Ingham at point blank range, but the rebound fell perfectly to Hird to tap in his first goal for the club.
After Drew Talbot gave away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Chambers, a bending direct free-kick by Michael Coulson over the wall, forced O’Donnell into a fine save. The Minstermen then leveled the score soon after, with Coulson again neatly finishing, thanks to a clever assist by Jason Walker.
The celebrations however didn’t last long and York found themselves lagging behind again a minute later when Craig Westcarr latched on to a Terrell Forbes through ball to bury his shot underneath Ingham, despite his best attempts to smother, as the Derbyshire side finished the first half in front.
The second half started in similar style to the first with neither team taking a major foothold in the game, both teams were giving away a string of needless free-kicks and possession being fairly distributed with spells of scrappy play. Chesterfield looked the most comfortable with possession, but York had the more shots on goal and nearly grabbed an equaliser from Coulson’s in-swinging corner, which Chris Smith managed to knock on to Daniel Parslow but the defensive midfielder narrowly, guided his header right of the target.
York’s endeavour to push forward in search of an equaliser was helped by Ashley Chambers’ bombardment down the left flank, skipping past Chesterfield’s challenges, temporarily losing his foot in the process, but regaining the ball and coming inside to take a swipe at the ball, eventually being swallowed up by O’Donnell’s midriff. Jason Walker also had an opportunity from a corner, but after teeing himself up for the volley at the back post, he could only sky high and wide, as it didn’t seem to be York’s afternoon.
Just as things looked like they were going to end in defeat, with the four additional minutes fast approaching the end, York’s luck turned in their final attack. Ingham desperately pumped the ball up field from a free-kick, for Chris Smith to eventually gain some control and follow the ball onto Jason Walker to finish from just inside the box, dipping the ball into the top left hand corner out of O’Donnell’s reaching glove and send the largest attendance of the season frantic.
The draw lifts The Minstermen up a further two places in the league, as York City are once again enjoying life back in the football league.